To see a quince transform from a pale pear colour to ruby pink is just magical … who would ever have thought this would happen. The ingredients of time and low heat absolutely transform this fruit from something that, in its raw state, is inedible into blushing, tender jewels. Serve simply with cream, yoghurt or ice cream for dessert, or with a steaming bowl of porridge for breakfast. Poached quince can be used in a simple cake batter or a winter crumble. Quince has a short season so if you see them in the fruit shop be sure to buy some. Then poach them using this simple recipe and you too will be mesmerised by their transformation. Enjoy!
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, split OR 1 cinnamon quill (use what you have in the pantry)
2 strips orange peel
- Place the water, sugar, vanilla bean or cinnamon quill, and orange peel into a 20cm saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil for a few minutes while you prepare the quince.
- Wash and peel the quince. Use a sharp knife to cut the quince in quarters, then remove the core and discard. You will notice that the cut surfaces of the quince turns brown quickly, however don’t worry as once they are cooked you won’t notice this discolouration. If you want you can place the quince pieces in a bowl of water with a big squeeze of lemon juice to limit the oxidation.
- Add the quince pieces to the pot of sugar syrup and place a piece of baking on top which will help to keep the quince submerged and reduce the evaporation of the poaching liquid. Now place the lid on the saucepan and cook on low heat for about 3 hours or until tender and ruby pink.
- Cool and store in the syrup in a glass jar or container.